In a recent article about deciding whether to teach intelligent design in American schools one (science?) teacher had this to say:
“I think if we look at where the empirical scientific evidence leads us, it leads us towards intelligent design.
“[Intelligent design] ultimately takes us back to why we’re here and the value of life… if an individual doesn’t have a reason for being, they might carry themselves in a way that is ultimately destructive for society.”
All italics are mine. This of course is an old argument and one that I have always felt is flawed but haven’t been able to say why… until now.
Firstly, the why are we here really isn’t a question here but an answer. So naturally his reason for being here will ultimately taint his idea of the value of life. The assumption is that the reader will all agree or sympathize with his reason for being here. But that is not always the case.
As a Chinese and a Buddhist I was never taught or told that there needed to be a reason for living. As matter of fact it has never been a point of contention or a cause for distress. It is only when I speak in English that I have to even worry or think about this. In other words, it is a culturally influenced idea and possibly a linguistic one also.
Generally one can be expected to be offended by his statement of belittlement (he basically dismissed all of non-Chiristian thought in one sentence). But getting upset would be unnecessary and futile. And it would solve nothing.
On closer inspection, here is an example of a man who wants his cake and eat it too. Because unless he convinces himself of intelligent design he would either have to give up his vocation as a science teacher or his faith in Christianity. In short, his argument is flawed so that he wouldn’t have to make that decision. And that is all I need to say about him.